Daniel García-Castellanos

Scientific Staff


+34 93 634 4645 ext. 440654





Personal Web


Educational Background

  • Post-doc at Free University of Amsterdam, 1999-2004
  • Ph.D., Geophysics, 2000, University of Barcelona
  • B.S., Physics, 1993, University of Barcelona


Research Interests

I do research in the fields of geodynamics, surface processes, and Solid Earth geoscience, mainly from a process-modelling perspective supported either on multidisciplinary data compilations or on ad-hoc data acquisition. I develop physical-mathematical models coupling the physics of plate tectonics and processes occurring at the surface of the Earth. Solving these models with the aid of computers permits to decipher whether the complexity of the earth's surface and interior can be explained as the interaction between a small set of simple processes. It allows for example the study of the interplay between river transport and the dynamics of tectonic deformation during the formation of orogen/basin systems, incorporating also analogue experiments and existing multidisciplinary data (structural geology, gravity, GPS, thermochronology, cosmogenic nuclides, paleogeographic, paleoclimate, and geomorphological observations). The application of these techniques to geological scenarios (Andean Altiplano, Alps, Pyrenees-Ebro Basin, Moroccan Atlas, Rhenish Massif) where such data are available is helping to address fundamental questions on the geodynamics of topography and landscape evolution. More recently, I am mostly devoted to the processes that led to the isolation of the Mediterranean during the Messinian Salinity Crisis and the implications of this episode. An incipient line of research is the study of large flooding events and their relevance in long-term landscape evolution, aiming at filling the gap between the historical and the geological records.


Active Projects

Past Projects













Amblas, D., T. P. Gerber, B. De Mol, R. Urgeles, D. Garcia-Castellanos, M. Canals, L. F. Pratson, N. Robb, and J. Canning (2012), Survival of a submarine canyon during long-term outbuilding of a continental margin, Geology, 40(6), 543-546, doi: 10.1130/G33178.1.

Antón, L., A. Rodés, G. De Vicente, R. Pallàs, D. Garcia-Castellanos, F. M. Stuart, R. Braucher, and D. Bourlès (2012), Quantification of fluvial incision in the Duero Basin (NW Iberia) from longitudinal profile analysis and terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide concentrations, Geomorphology, 165-166, 50-61, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.12.036.

Bartol, J., L. Matenco, D. Garcia-Castellanos, and K. Leever (2012), Modelling depositional shifts between sedimentary basins: Sediment pathways in Paratethys basins during the Messinian Salinity Crisis, Tectonophysics, 536-537, 110-121, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2012.03.007.

Estrada, F., G. Ercilla, C. Gorini, B. Alonso, J. T. Vázquez, D. García-Castellanos, C. Juan, A. Maldonado, A. Ammar, and M. Elabbassi (2011), Impact of pulsed Atlantic water inflow into the Alboran Basin at the time of the Zanclean flooding, Geo-Marine Letters, 31(5-6), 361-376, doi: 10.1007/s00367-011-0249-8.

Fullea, J., J. C. Afonso, J. A. D. Connolly, M. Fernàndez, D. García-Castellanos, and H. Zeyen (2009), LitMod3D: An interactive 3-D software to model the thermal, compositional, density, seismological, and rheological structure of the lithosphere and sublithospheric upper mantle, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 10(8), doi: 10.1029/2009GC002391.

Garcia-Castellanos, D., and A. Villaseñor (2011), Messinian salinity crisis regulated by competing tectonics and erosion at the Gibraltar arc, Nature, 480(7377), 359-363, doi: 10.1038/nature10651.

Garcia-Castellanos, D., and S. Cloetingh (2012), Modeling the Interaction between Lithospheric and Surface Processes in Foreland Basins, edited, pp. 152-181.

Garcia-Castellanos, D., F. Estrada, I. Jiménez-Munt, C. Gorini, M. Fernández, J. Vergés, and R. De Vicente (2009), Catastrophic flood of the Mediterranean after the Messinian salinity crisis, Nature, 462(7274), 778-781, doi: 10.1038/nature08555.

Jiménez-Munt, I., M. Fernàndez, E. Saura, J. Vergés, and D. Garcia-Castellanos (2012), 3-D lithospheric structure and regional/residual Bouguer anomalies in the Arabia-Eurasia collision (Iran), Geophysical Journal International, 190(3), 1311-1324, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05580.x.

Jiménez-Munt, I., M. Fernàndez, J. Vergés, J. C. Afonso, D. Garcia-Castellanos, and J. Fullea (2010), Lithospheric structure of the Gorringe Bank: Insights into its origin and tectonic evolution, Tectonics, 29(5), doi: 10.1029/2009TC002458.

Jiménez-Munt, I., M. Fernàndez, J. Vergés, D. Garcia-Castellanos, J. Fullea, M. Pérez-Gussinyé, and J. C. Afonso (2011), Decoupled crust-mantle accommodation of Africa-Eurasia convergence in the NW Moroccan margin, Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth, 116(8), doi: 10.1029/2010JB008105.

Leever, K. A., L. Matenco, D. Garcia-Castellanos, and S. A. P. L. Cloetingh (2011), The evolution of the Danube gateway between Central and Eastern Paratethys (SE Europe): Insight from numerical modelling of the causes and effects of connectivity between basins and its expression in the sedimentary record, Tectonophysics, 502(1-2), 175-195, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2010.01.003.

Minshull, T. A., O. Ishizuka, and D. Garcia-Castellanos (2010), Long-term growth and subsidence of Ascension Island: Constraints on the rheology of young oceanic lithosphere, Geophysical Research Letters, 37(23), doi: 10.1029/2010GL045112.

Urgeles, R., A. Camerlenghi, D. Garcia-Castellanos, B. De Mol, M. Garcés, J. Vergés, I. Haslam, and M. Hardman (2011), New constraints on the Messinian sealevel drawdown from 3D seismic data of the Ebro Margin, western Mediterranean, Basin Research, 23(2), 123-145, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2117.2010.00477.x.

Vergés, J., E. Saura, E. Casciello, M. Fernàndez, A. Villaseñor, I. Jiménez-Munt, and D. García-Castellanos (2011), Crustal-scale cross-sections across the NW Zagros belt: Implications for the Arabian margin reconstruction, Geological Magazine, 148(5-6), 739-761, doi: 10.1017/S0016756811000331.

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